Most vacationers plan winter escapes to avoid inclement weather. Travelers from around the world pack their swimsuits and head to tropical climates with sunny, white-sand beaches. For your next winter retreat, try the opposite. It involves snow-covered mountains cutting the shore, plunging into an icy ocean with awesome light floating in a dark sky peppered with billions of stars, and intense cold. In fact, the dead of winter is an exciting time to travel to the extreme north of Norway.
In Croatia, one of eight Balkan states created from the breakup of Yugoslavia, the oceanside walled city of Dubrovnik showcases a mélange of three styles. These distinctive styles will be familiar to any traveler who has visited an ex-eastern-bloc Soviet Union component state: the historic European beauty that predates communism, the cinder block and cement utilitarian ugliness that embodies it, and the trappings of tourism and trade that has been newly installed upon the Communist party’s departure.
Between the busloads of tourists and the history buffs that flock to this Bund landmark to experience a piece of Shanghai’s history, the public spaces at the Fairmont Peace Hotel might not quite embody its name. But what the property lacks in tranquility, it more than makes up for in iconic status, given its storied past as the Cathay Hotel, built in 1929 and then owned by one of the city’s most notable businessmen, Sir Victor Sassoon.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The US Grant hotel has been a San Diego icon since its debut in 1910. While the handsome hotel itself is a sight to see, its history is what makes this property so fascinating. The land (which was once owned by the Kumeyaay tribe) was the home of San Diego’s first major hotel, Horton House Hotel, until it was bought and demolished by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of the eighteenth U.S. president. In its place, he built The US Grant (named after his father), an eleven-story, luxury hotel in what is now the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego.
A cutting-edge destination for eco-tourism, Rwanda’s top luxury safari lodge borders the continent’s largest mountain rainforest and offers extraordinary chimpanzee trekking.
Rwanda offers a luxury boutique resort experience not to be missed at the edge of one of the continent’s oldest mountain rainforests. Nyungwe Forest Lodge sits like a dream on a rolling hilltop in the midst of the vast working Gisakura Tea Estate, with airy private bungalows that sometimes offer fleeting views of monkeys springing past in the forest.